Dallas Marathon: Race Recap

I lost my marathon virginity this weekend, and that was a good thing!  (OK I nearly put that as the title to this entry, but thankfully, I thought better of it.)  I’ll also be losing my virginity where race recap blogging is concerned, as I haven’t run any races since I started blogging.  (This is a hint for you to crack open a Corona, so that the post doesn’t seem as bad.)

First, I have to say that the amount of support and well wishes I have received from my friends and the running community has been nothing short of AMAZING.  I wish I could list everyone, but the list is so vast that I would inadvertently leave someone off.  I never doubted my ability to run the race.  I knew that I had the grit, determination and, stubbornness, if you will, to finish.  What I did doubt was my body.  I almost asked more of my body during training that it was able to deliver.  I was REALLY worried about my ITB affecting my ability to finish, and now I know I had every reason to be concerned!  Having said that, the outpouring of love really did carry me through when I thought all was lost.  I may not have believed in my body, but my friends, runners and non-runners alike, did and I truly needed that support.  And, for this tough Texas gal who NEVER sheds a tear, I found myself with A LOT of tears in my eyes EVERY TIME I read a message of support.  It seems trite to say that I couldn’t have run this race without all of you, but it is so very true.  I can’t even put into words how uplifting it was and how full my heart felt when I stepped up to the start line on Sunday morning.

Last week, I barely slept a wink.  Dealing with all the pre-race anxiety (that had been building for well over a year) had caused me to lose my appetite, which just added to my madness!  After all I was supposed to be fueling my body for a race and ended up losing 2 pounds! On Friday, I was able to finally achieve some peace of mind and, in the words of the famous (yet irritating) song, I let it go.  Then I went to see my myofascia guy one last time before the race so that he could give me a treatment and kinesio tape me for race day.  He was so pleased and excited with what he found (or, more accurately, didn’t find) that I was in a purely zen state by the end of the appointment.  Before I left, he gave me a big bear hug and told me how much he believed in me and, again, my eyes filled with tears…a few even fell out of this time!  Friday night, I slept like a baby.  I was soooo exhausted and drained mentally from the week.  I didn’t wake up until after 6 on Saturday morning, which is LATE for this gal, but I felt so rested and refreshed!

Saturday morning, I piddled around the house.  I drank coffee and washed some clothes, but mostly just sat in the recliner. (ONLY because the dogs needed someone to keep them warm!)  We arrived in downtown around 4 pm and went to the expo to collect my race packet and walk around the expo.  While we were there, Taylor & Alli signed the banner.

Taylor & Alli signing the banner.

Taylor & Alli signing the banner.

On our way back to our hotel room after the expo, Taylor & Alli were sidetracked by the S’mores bar in the lobby.

This may have been Alli's favorite part of the weekend!

This may have been Alli’s favorite part of the weekend!

We decided to go eat early, which ended up being a good idea because getting back into our hotel was a madhouse.  It got even crazier as the night went on, as we were watching from our window.  No, I didn’t do any pre-race partying.  I was asleep by 9:30. 😉

Cupcakes from Uptown Dallas at "The Original Cupcakery". All I can say is, DELICIOUS!!

OF COURSE I HAD CUPCAKES!! Cupcakes from Uptown Dallas at “The Original Cupcakery”.
All I can say is, DELICIOUS!!

I actually slept VERY well Saturday night.  I guess I’m somewhat used to Bobby’s snoring, or I was just that tired, because Taylor said she spent two hours in the hall and Logan spent part of the night here:

I was so confused as to why anyone would throw towels in the bathtub, but later found out Logan tried to sleep in there!

When I found this early Sunday morning, I was so confused as to why anyone would throw towels in the bathtub! I later found out that Logan tried to sleep in there!

After I got ready, I tried to eat some breakfast. Every day of my life, I eat an English Muffin, toasted, with peanut butter and honey.  I almost forgot to bring it on Saturday and turned around to go back and get it!

Trust me, day-old toasted is NOT as good as freshly toasted!

Trust me, day-old toasted is NOT as good as freshly toasted!

Finally, it was time to head down to the corrals!  I really wasn’t nervous.  The time for being nervous was past.  I really was looking forward to the experience and crossing the finish line.  To be honest, I didn’t feel my best.  I had nagging soreness in my throat and stuffy sinuses from whatever has been in the air.

Despite the allergies, I felt great through the first 10k.  I felt good about the pace I was maintaining and, aside from the yucky allergy feeling, was doing well.  At around the 10k mark, I could feel my ITB getting tight and started trying to mentally prepare myself for the road that was ahead.  Surprisingly, I didn’t feel any pain until mile 13 or so.  By the way, the famed “Dolly Pardon Hills” were around mile 13.  Can I just say that I was terribly disappointed with them??  Plus, I think it was only one hill.  In any case, it wasn’t much of a hill at all (by my standards, anyway).  The best part about that area of the course was the guys that dressed up with balloon boobs to hand out water. 😉

Miles 13-16 were tough, but manageable.  From mile 16 on, the pain became more intense with each step.  I had to take short walk breaks to lessen the tension on my ITB and I tried stretching it as well.  Then, from mile 20 on, it was basically a battle of stubbornness, because every step was painful.  I was determined that I WOULD finish and was fully prepared to deal with all the consequences of torturing my body the way that I had.

The banner from the expo was hanging up at the end of the Santa Fe Trail (around mile 20, I think), and that gave me a mental boost because I remembered Alli’s message she wrote to me.  I never expected that little message to mean so much!

Alli's message to me :)

Alli’s message to me 🙂

Then, at mile 22, I heard someone say “MOM!!” and there they were – Bobby and the kids.  It was so good to see them!  I told them my ITB was giving me fits and they all assured me that I could finish, and on I limped. 😉  Around mile 24, there was a young lady with a dog on the side of the road.  When we were passing, she said, “Less than a 5k to go!” and I thought – she HAS to be a runner!  I later learned that it was my Twitter friend Aimee (@aimeelanter)!  She was so encouraging, but it would have been so much more encouraging to realize (then) it was someone who I knew!  Also, during those last, tough miles, I kept thinking of all my friends who were cheering me on.  I also thought about another Twitter friend, Brad (@IronmanBradK) and his struggle with Guillain Barre Syndrome and how he competes in marathons and IronMan competitions, fighting through the pain with each and every step.  He was actually pushing a wheelchair bound participant in Dallas.  What an inspiration!!  Focusing on all this helped me push through those last 6 miles.

FINALLY, I crossed the finish line!  Taylor snapped this pic as I passed them down the home stretch.

I didn't see or hear them yelling at me, apparently only feet from me! LOL  I had tunnel vision on that finish line!

I didn’t see or hear them yelling at me, apparently only feet from me! LOL I had tunnel vision on that finish line!

I nearly ugly cried when the medal was hung around my neck, but I managed to choke that back.  A couple of tears may have escaped my eyes, but I’ll never tell!  Then I was herded through the system to be given all the post-race goodies.  I collected my 2013 medal and then was given the “Unique Finisher Item” of which I’m sure Jane (@50statecanuck) would approve!

Last year's medal, this year's BEAUTIFUL medal and the finisher bag!

Last year’s medal, this year’s BEAUTIFUL medal and the finisher bag!

Sadly, post-marathon I was in no mental or physical state to think of how I could make this blog post better.  If I had my wits about me (no snarky comments, @RunningLonely), I would have taken a pic of the Kenyans with whom we rode the elevator on our way to check out of the hotel.  I wondered if it was them, but Taylor removed all doubt when she said, “Wait….are you the WINNERS?? I watched you on TV.  You are awesome!!!”  To which she added, “I feel like I’m in an elevator with celebrities!” They just grinned.  And there I was, the dork with my medal around my neck.  LOL

For now, I am committed to rehabbing my ITB properly before I begin training again.  Having said that, as I write this, I have the itch to run….I have unfinished business on the 26.2 course.  Until then, I have a half marathon goal I would like to achieve and that will best be done if I am healthy!  Anyone who knows me even a little will know how difficult this road is going to be (AGAIN!).  I have a tendency to rush rehab and over-train.  I will be depending on the running community to hold me accountable as I move forward in 2015!

And even though I’ve walked peg-legged almost the entire day because it was so painful to bend my knee, it has been the BEST MONDAY EVER!!!

Hope your Monday was as good as mine!!

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9 responses to “Dallas Marathon: Race Recap

    • Hahaha!!! It is indeed a sack! Lol. I immediately though of how you wished RnR would supply those at race end!
      I am committed to getting healthy, but I will likely get in my own way, so I am depending on all you giys to call my bullsh*t

      Like

  1. Well, congrats doesn’t really capture it all, so just a big hoorah! and Wow!

    I know the feeling – having done my first marathon two months ago. I still wonder how the hell I did it. (I did an 18K the other day, and at the end I was tiring – I thought “how did I do this one and half times?”) Amazing how much our mental strength lies in our victories – in all our affairs. I too had to take walking breaks and I was starting to fall apart at 37K. But perseverance is a wonderful thing!

    Anyway, I am so, so, so very happy for you! Nice to have another person in the new marathoners club 🙂

    Now eat away!

    Paul

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Baring It All – Plano Balloon HM Race Goals | Crazy Cupcake Runner

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